Apt For Rent: Rental Housing Codes and Inspections


Apt For Rent: Rental Housing Codes and Inspections

Iowa League of Cities 2012 Annual Conference & ExhibitApt For Rent:Rental HousingCodes &InspectionsHandouts and presentations are available online at www.iowaleague.orgDarrell Bullock, City of Sioux City; Scott Olesen, City ofStorm Lake; Frank Tenuta, Iowa Legal Aid

Building Official: Scott Olesen

Complaints from tenants and public agenciesregarding sub-standard conditions. Concerns about the safety and sanitation ofrental housing. A desire to maintain our housing stock.

“To provide safe and sanitary rentalhousing within the City of StormLake through a fair and equitable,revolving inspection process.”

Started 1999 There are currently 437 registered rentalproperties in Storm Lake which contain a totalof 1,152 rental units. Inspectors: Fire Fighter, Code EnforcementOfficer, Fire Chief, and Building Official. Properties are inspected once every threeyears. City Ordinance 5-8.

Registration Noticessent – June 1 Registration Due by –August 31 Late Registration FeeImposed – September 1 Municipal InfractionPeriod Begins –October 15thRegistration fee is$15.00 per structurePlus $7.00 per unit for allunits over 1$50.00 Late RegistrationFee$50.00 No Show Fee$35.00 Re-inspection feeMunicipal InfractionCosts◦ 1 st - $75.00◦ 2 nd - $125.00◦ 3 rd - $200.00Registration TimelineProgram Fees

Single Family Home $15.00 annual fee Total Cost$15.00/year 10 Unit ApartmentComplex $15.00 annual fee $63.00 unit fees◦ $7.00 x 9 units Total Cost =$78.00/year

Letter of inspection mailed to owner◦ Includes date & time of inspection at least 2 weeks fromdate of inspection.◦ Notice to tenants in English/Spanish/Lao of upcominginspection will be provided for property owners use. TheCity does not notify tenants. Inspection◦ Violations of smoke detector minimum standards will beallowed 24 hours to correct.◦ All other violations will be noted, copy of violationsprovided.◦ Re-inspection date and time set (60 day allowanceunless life threatening).◦ All portions of the building must be open to theinspectors. Failure to have access to a portion of thebuilding will require additional visits and re-inspectionfees charged.

Re-inspection held◦ Inspect units and property to ensure thatcompliance has been achieved on ALL notedviolations.◦ Any remaining violations may be subject tomunicipal infraction and cited at the time of reinspection.◦ The first re-inspection will be done at no cost. A$35.00 re-inspection fee will be charged for eachsubsequent re-inspection.

•Missing or non-operating smoke detectors.•Electrical panels which are not labeled.•Electrical panels which are over fused. Anexample would be a panel which has 30 ampfuses installed where a maximum of a 15 ampfuse is allowed.•Improper use of extension cords.•Missing or broken electrical outlet and switchcovers.

•Unenclosed lights in clothes closets.•Fire extinguishers which are missing, discharged, or havenot been inspected yearly.•Wire splices not in a junction box or in an uncoveredjunction box.•Tenants occupying parts of the dwelling which are notintended for occupation such as basements withoutwindows, or windows not sized for egress.•Missing or corroded flues on water heaters or furnaces.•Property maintenance code violations.

Bugs Asbestos Lead based paint Noise complaints between tenants Mold Floor coverings and paint colors

Set realistic goals for what the program canachieve. Realize that it is an ongoing process. If you are thinking about fees, implementthem when you start the program. Be prepared to have an educational programfor the landlords. Have a process in place for dealing withcomplaints by tenants regarding landlords.

Scott OlesenPhone: 712-732-8002Email: olesen@stormlake.orgInternational Code Council-Publishes theInternational Property Maintenance CodeWebsite: iccsafe.orgIowa Association of Housing Officials-Providestraining for existing housing inspectors.Website: iaho.org

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